* Posts by David Beck

322 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007


DNAaaahahaha: Twins' 23andMe, Ancestry, etc genetic tests vary wildly, surprising no one

David Beck

Re: Don't listen to naysayers

Thank you, saved me writing the same comment.

The DNA tests are fine, the interpreting for "ethnicity" is dodgy and different for each company as their databases differ.

What is not in question is the ability to match DNA for families whose members are tested. In what amounts to thousands of blind trials family members who did not know their cousin/brother/sister had the test got a resultant match when their results were returned.

Before dipping a toe in the new ThinkPad high-end, make sure your desk is compatible

David Beck


Maybe not 32GB but I've no problems with my X220 (real keyboard) and 16GB of RAM. You may need to update the BIOS to a modded version.

The big stuff can run on the desktop (HPxw6600 with 32GB RAM and 2xXeon (8xCores). The RAM was £40 when I bought it but it's on eBay for £26.00 just now. The chassis with two CPUs was £189.

I haven't anything but used for 15 years.

Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

David Beck


I have a similar situation, not BT fibre but only fibre to the house. In the cupboard there is a small UPS, cost of about £50, into which is plugged, router, ATA and PoE switch needed for wifi. I get about an hour from the UPS under the current (excuse pun) load. ONT has its own battery but I think it only gets about 20mins. I could have gone for a cheaper UPS with less reserve time but I liked the one I bought.

David Beck

IF VoIP isn't a phone service then will all the charges/taxes disappear?

From my last US Vonage bill -

U.S. and Canada 750 for 1-(919)-338-xxxx (24/Jun-23/Jul) $19.99

Vonage Extensions for 1-(919)-360-xxxx (24/Jun-23/Jul) $0.00

International Calls for 1-(919)-338-xxxx (24/May-23/Jun) $16.66

United Kingdom Virtual Phone Number for 44-(207)-993-xxxx (24/Jun-23/Jul) $4.99

Taxes & Fees

Regulatory, Compliance and Intellectual Property Fee $1.99

Emergency 911 and Information Services Fee $1.99

Federal Program Fee $5.06

State Telecommunications Sales Tax $3.55

State 911 Fee $0.60

Total Amount $54.83

So for my $24.98 in services and $16.66 in call charges I paid $13.19 in taxes and fees, because it was a telephone.

I assume that if it is no longer a telephone then none of the listed taxes and fees apply, although there will probably be some sales tax rate applied.

Looks like a win to me.

Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

David Beck

Re: Banks too big to fail ...

The old system worked. It was the new shiny one that went all to crap.

Schadenfreude for UK mobile networks over the tumult at Carphone

David Beck

wireless charging

If you use a silicon case you can put the charging coil between the case and the phone back. Been doing it for years.

Blighty stuffs itself in Galileo airlock and dares Europe to pull the lever

David Beck

Re: £14 billion

It's £180 odd million a week nett. That means after all the items you listed as "money coming back". And why develop another GPS, without the French involved we can use the US one.

Autonomy pulled wool over Brit finance panel's eyes, US court told

David Beck

KPMG did the due diligence

And even if the Autonomy accounts had been perfect there was no way they were worth $11bn. This was all vanity using the shareholders money.

Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

David Beck

Re: F1 is a Car Crash

You got the wrong cars. What you just described is Indy racing. Circular track, IC engine only, ...

F1 uses sports car track, like VIR or Sebring, "engine" is hybrid, bodies are to the formula but not at all similar (only in the sense that all aircraft are similar). Regarding the electronics, the average F1 car has about 120 sensors reporting to the pits and on to the factory during the race. Admittedly quite a few of these are temperature sensors but if you are going to fly a 600 kilo car at 1 cm above the ground at 320 kph using a 1000 horsepower engine, temperature is a big deal.

As for Brundle's aborted interview with the AMD CEO, it was nothing compared to when he attempted to interview Maria Carey.

Brit Lords start peer-to-peer wrangling over regulating the internet

David Beck

Applies to primaries only. Does that explain it enough?

Bosch and Daimler jump in together on driverless vehicle tech

David Beck

MB have had it for years

My 2009 reg A-Class has it. Works okay. Has a mode that detects if a space is big enough to fit as well as actually park the car. The driver controls petals and follows instructions, car handles steering. Only really useful if you are crap at parallel parking.

T-Mobile goes Apple/Google route by separating phone numbers and devices

David Beck

Re: I wonder how WhatsApp will cope with that

For me WhatsApp used the SIM number of SIM1 (dual SIM phone). What goes out as caller ID depends on dialer. So even though my phone rings when any of four numbers are called, two UK and two US, WhatsApp only cares about the one.

David Beck

Re: App versus battery

JetsetJim is right.

I've been doing this with my much maligned Vonage acct since 2005. Moved to Vonage UK a few years ago with virtual US number and receive calls on UK mobile, wife's rings too. Outgoing via Vonage app for int'l calls. Haven't had a phone plugged into the Vonage box for years. Or the box plugged in for that matter.

'Grey technology' should be the new black

David Beck

Re: Thank you for a thoughtful article

I'm surprised the call didn't start with the disclaimer, "For training purposes this call may be recorded". I consider this permission to record, if they didn't mean it as permission there are many ways to express the alternative meanings without confusion.

Make America, wait, what again? US Army may need foreign weapons to keep up

David Beck

Re: Military-industrial 101

Thanks, I was waiting for someone to give the Poles's their due. You might add the French lot as well as they did quite a lot of work.

The English contribution (Bletchley Park) was to solve the problem quickly enough to be useful. Most of that work was done by the PO engineer Tommy Flowers with direction from Turing.

Don't consider films, even English ones, as a reliable source.

US Navy runs into snags with aircraft carrier's electric plane-slingshot

David Beck

Re: We all need less stress...

LBJ also said of why he didn't fire J Edgar Hoover -

“It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

An often appropriate assessment in the political (and corporate) world.

San Francisco first US city to outlaw ISP lock-ins by landlords

David Beck

Not a problem in the UK because it's poorly serviced by cable and most internet is delivered by copper from the local cabinet. In the US the concept of LLU does not exist.

David Beck

Re: About dang time!

There are apartment complexes without copper telephone lines to each apartment? Amazing.

Brussels cunning plan to save the EU: No more Cookie Popups

David Beck

Re: Love the EU again?

Did "Murdoch" write -


I believe you'll find this enlightening by what it doesn't say the MEPs do, initiate legislation.

David Beck

Re: Scapegoats

Depends, if the Commission has already a Directive which exhibits "competency" in the area of the Directive then the Parliament is not needed. If the Directive is a new competency, as allowed by a new or changed treaty, then the Parliament gets to say yes or no (with some small ability to amend). The discussions occur in Brussels but as you know all votes occur in Strasbourg since the French just couldn't stand the idea that the EU offices were all in Belgium. I suggest that we follow and move all UK parliamentary voting to the Isle of Man.

David Beck

Re: Love the EU again?


It is consultative. The MEPs can only agree, amend or decline what the Commission presents and only then if they need to ask the MEPs at all, that is, not a Directive. The MEPs cannot initiate legislation.

I'm not using my memory, just -


Amazon's Netflix-gnasher to hit top gear In December

David Beck

Re: Just switching from next day to some time delivery pays for the subscription.

They pay you to not use the next day part, in the form of vouchers for books & music. If you buy lots the vouchers can generate a net savings on the other purchases.

Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

David Beck

Re: Whilst I don't disagree with the thrust of the article...

Potatoes are harvested by machine. There is almost no manual labour involved, at least this is true in countries which do not have access to a supply of cheap labour. If the cost of labour moves the UK into the 20th century in farming methods it can't be all bad.

Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

David Beck

My Lenovo A3000 just needed a factory reset and app reload to fix a similar slow down, also clean SD card. I found thousands of orphaned files on SD card. Appears Android not to tidy.

Australia boards the slow boat to Brexit

David Beck

Re: Post-brexit UK trade deals with individual EU member states

Given that no EU country can make a trade deal, this would suggest the author of the article is clueless.

Given that no El Reg editor noticed this suggests that ...

Try to stick to what you pretend to know about.

Cooky crumbles: Apple mulls yanking profits out of Europe and into US

David Beck

Re: It's not about fair, it's about the law

Correct, the people most unhappy if Apple pay up will be the Irish Finance Ministry. No company in its right mind would commit based on the Ministry's legal position since that could be over turned by the Commission using anything they happen to have a "competency" in, in this case monopoly. The Commission doesn't have "competency" in tax, yet, I but can imagine Junker licking his lips now.

Not anonymous since I don't really care what a bunch of whiners think, I raised a teenager to adulthood without killing it.

New UK trade deals would not compensate for loss of single market membership

David Beck

Re: Really ....

So true, but conversely, if you want to replace MB and BMW as the premium brand as has happened in the US, you make a trade agreement with one country, Japan, and Lexus becomes the premium brand as it has there. It's only magic when you don't know how it's done.

Shock: Apple patents the phone book

David Beck

Re: CF-53 Toughbook....

At least 10 years of mobile data in ThinkPads.

My X60 built in 2006 has a Sierra 3G card but it has an external plastic bump on the lid which I suspect contains the 3G antenna. The X220 I use daily has 3G but the lid has a plastic edge at the top of the screen. I never buy new, I always buy ThinkPads and for the past five years always with 3G support.

Kotkin on who made Trump and Brexit: Look in the mirror, it's you

David Beck

Re: Really?

The UK just voted to leave the EU. If the negotiations for access the "Common Market" are acceptable to the UK it would remain a favoured trading partner, if not then it will just have to deal with the rest of the world instead. Lexus not Mercedes, Dyson not Miele, UK milk not Polish. Exports to India, China and the other BRICKs as well as the US. The EU has had 6 years to make a trade treaty with India and hasn't. Do you really think the UK cannot have a treaty ready for the day after exit?

David Beck

Re: Really?

I think you will find that MEPs don't actually initiate legislation,. Their job is to vote on what is passed to them by the Commission (unelected). You only get what the Commission wants. So you MEPs job is to rubber stamp Commission policy by definition. That's what MEPs do.

UK digi strategy on ice post Brexit results - sources

David Beck

Re: Register's list of Brexit Impacts

You don't need to pass a law. All EU regulations and directives are UK law. That's what being in the EU meant. Does no one here know anything about the EU?

David Beck

Re: @Doctor Syntax

There is no "EU" money, it all comes from the member states and since the UK sends more than comes back, the money Cornwall gets for having it's fishing industry destroyed by the Common Fisheries Policy is UK money passed through the bowels of Brussels.

Just a thought.

Energy companies aren't going to slurp your personal data. Honest

David Beck

Re: UK Energy Market

Energy Efficiency Directive, a government but not yours.

Unisys releases its ClearPath MCP OS for VMs or x86

David Beck

Re: Interestingly, there's a free "Express" edition for download

The OS2200 package can be downloaded to a UK IP. I know because I have it installed. I was surprised to find it included a pretty full set of software as well as the OS. For the Unisys/EXEC8 aware, you get the UCS compilers, no CMS but mini-CMS is included, DMS, TIP, ... all the normal stuff. This is the "Express" edition.

I feel like I'm in 1980 but my hair is still grey.

Amazon ports Alexa voice assistant to Raspberry Pi

David Beck

Why haven't Amazon released a smart-phone version?





USA only

Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

David Beck

Re: From the linked report

Sure, the developer makes an exclusive agreement with an infrastructure company like IFNL (who retail as Seethelight). No other supplier can install kit, including Openreach, Virgin,... Money is involved.

David Beck

Re: Still building mud and sticks.

Absolutely agree, UK new builds look like 1950s floorplans. No storage, microscopic bedrooms, open plan means there is room in the kitchen for a small table. Too much carpet and not enough insulation.

Five reasons why the Google tax deal is imploding

David Beck

You mean like RBS?

Big Blue's big iron daddy Gene Amdahl dies aged 92

David Beck

No they weren't

HASP queue fails with a few hundred student jobs waiting. Nothing like checking the listings taped to the inside of the computer room floor to ceiling windows showing the jobs completed and failed.

Was HASP talking to another machine? Mine was talking to the model 75 at TUCC.

Big Blue lets Chinese government eyeball source code – report

David Beck

When did the source get closed?

In the 1960s and early '70s the source for IBM OS/360, DOS.360 and the IBM supplied utilities including the compilers was available to educational institutions for the cost of the tapes. I did work on the DOS PL/1 G compiler and the OS/360 sort/merge utility while at university.

BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home G.fast broadband tech

David Beck

Re: Meanwhile in a brand new street with brand new cable....

Why would anyone down vote this comment?

Anyone who has moved into a new build will know that this is the norm. My postcode was not known by several suppliers, energy if I remember correctly were the worst, for two years after the development was finished. BT knew the house only by the original plot number and the post office only by the assigned house number, two unrelated identifiers. Anyone know why postcodes and house numbers are not assigned when the builder's planning is approved?

Police investigate strange case of doughnut-licking pop singer Ariana Grande

David Beck

Re: doughnut

KrispyKreme originals, food of the Gods.

Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

David Beck

Re: z/series assembler...

The longevity is more attributable to the quality and constraint of IBM hardware design, both the original Gene Amdahl work and the thousands of engineers who could have easily fucked it up with each iteration.

I wonder how much BAL code is still running today in major systems, not just those small routines which required BAL to get the job done? Is ACP still booking flights?

The OS's are now coded for the most part in a thin PL/1 (SPL?, too many years) and when I say now I mean since the late 1970's, but lots of bare metal code, interrupt handlers, device and channel drivers were still in BAL even after the recode.

Anyway I'm out of here,

LM 14,12,12(13)

BR 14

IT knowledge is as important as Maths, says UK.gov

David Beck

New Way?

I learned about "passing by reference or value" in 1967, using those words. If that's the "new way" then what was the "old way"?

Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years

David Beck


We can add that Chiltern already has free wifi. So what exactly is being added?

EE squashes Orange UK: France Telecom's been 'destroying it for years'

David Beck

Who sees this as a "good thing"?

I don't get it, BT a bunch of proven wankers who couldn't piss their way out of a tissue bag, are going to take over EE a brand which has three things going for it, an early start at 4G build out, Orange contracts and T-Mobile contracts. So the first thing they do is piss off two of their major assets. Sounds about right. I've seen a lot about how all the new contracts are for EE 4G, but nothing about the actual distribution of subscribers across the three brands. This alone makes me suspicious of attempts at "bandwagoning" 4G. I'm not sold, 4G is all about improvements for the carrier, almost none for the subscriber, a one trick pony of "speed". I even saw some idiot telling me that streaming was so much better on 4G (if you don't understand why this is a stupid statement stop reading now). I forecast higher prices, zero innovation (technical and marketing) and even worse voice coverage. And those are just the good bits.

Give ALL the EU access to Netflix, says Vince Cable

David Beck

Re: Boost GDP by £260bn?

Why would having a UK Netflix account help you in Brussels? You will only have access to the Belgian library, in French and Flemish. What happened to the Common Market? A lawyer heard about it.

Analysts claim itty bitty iPhone Mini to land next year

David Beck

Re: Lies, damned lies and statistics...

Agree 100%. If you want a 4in or sub 4in screen your choice is a landfill Chinese Android or a "compact" model with no power, no memory and all the bloat of the full fat version. I'm surprised 2% found a suitable phone. I'm currently using a Moto G 4G, not for the 4G but for the smaller screen (4.5in) and SD card. If I could dump KitKat and find a version of Android 4.2 or 4.3 for it I'd almost be a happy man.

Metrics house hails Apple DOMINANCE of X-Mas phone 'n' slab sales

David Beck

Re: Short memories

I owned a Palm Treo too and am still waiting for a calendar app as good as the one on the Treo. Mind you I just had a play with the last Palm I owned, a Centro with Palm OS, and I realised how simple the UI was and how easy it was to run with a single hand. No obscure graphics to try to remember what app lay underneath, neatly classified pages of apps, a real keyboard that I could use without looking and know when the key was pressed. All terrible stuff when now you can push around little pictures and watch magnificent "transitions" before your very eyes. Shiny, all very shiny.

UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

David Beck

EE 4G in Chipping Norton too

Can't imagine why.


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